Reader's view: Use caution, read reports when choosing nursing home
Those who deny that neglect and abuse of vulnerable adults exists in many nursing facilities don't change the fact that it does exist. In May 2004, the Minnesota Department of Health informed me it doesn't have the resources to investigate all th...
Those who deny that neglect and abuse of vulnerable adults exists in many nursing facilities don't change the fact that it does exist. In May 2004, the Minnesota Department of Health informed me it doesn't have the resources to investigate all the approximately 6,800 complaints it receives each year. This clearly indicates serious issues exist in many nursing facilities. Perhaps thousands of defenseless, vulnerable adults are left without protection.
Before sending loved ones to live in a nursing facility, shop around. There are definitely many kind, compassionate staff members working in nursing facilities, and many who are not.
Our loved ones in nursing facilities are placed in the hands of strangers and are dependent on them for daily care. Read each nursing facility's state and federal survey book. Don't ignore serious issues documented by the state department. The book is for public view. The brochure of the nursing facility my mother lived in stated that with regular visits, abusive or inadequate care would become apparent. When it did, I made a report to the facility's administration. I also wrote letters to newspapers. Administrators resolved the problem by eventually banning me from ever being with my mother again -- even as she lay dying. My mother did not know why I stopped coming to see her. I often wonder how hard she struggled to stay alive, hoping I would at least come to say good-bye.
The cruelty of denying my mother visits with her child constituted emotional abuse of a vulnerable adult to the ultimate degree. Before I was banned from seeing my mother, she told me that being in that facility was like living a nightmare while awake -- a nightmare she took to her grave. I'm still having it.
Use caution when selecting a nursing facility for loved ones.